Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a year.....

Ever have one of those days where nothing goes right?  I have one of those lives.

JANUARY- Finally healed from the bariatric surgery(Dec), had energy was able to get things done.  Insulin was decreased from 100+ 2x a day to 20 units a day.

FEBRUARY-  Had cataract surgery that everyone said was a piece of cake.  Unfortunately the shot to deaden the eye bled causing a blood clot which they had to break up before doing the surgery.  A lot of hard pressing around my eye to break it u. So was left with blood in the eye and huge black and blue area.

I got the weirdest looks from people....but, simply pointed to my husband and laughed. 

APRIL- My mother was in the hospital for a week, came home for a day and went back in.  Her wheezing was caused by aspirating fluids (she had to thicken everything for months), her trachea collapsed and the tumor on the remaining thyroid was bigger but they couldn't remove it until the trachea was fixed.

MAY-  A week before our 40th Anniversary my husband was rear ended on his motorcycle while stopped at a light.  The guy they figured was doing about 45 mph when he hit him and then didn't even get out of his van to see if Gary was ok.  He broke 2 ribs and snapped off 5 points on his vertebrae.  He was off work for a couple of months, and yes he did buy another Gold Wing when he was better. 
This was the day they hauled the bike away, it was like losing an old friend but it saved my husband's life.

SUMMER- was spent driving mother back and forth to Ann Arbor's University of Michigan Hospital for appointments in preperation for the surgery to put a stent in her trachea

AUGUST- We took a trip down to Oklahoma to see our our oldest son who lives near the Grand Lake Of the Cherokees.  Unfortunately they were having 100+ heat so never got to go out on the boat or sit on the deck and enjoy the lake but, we enjoyed Phil and Leah's company. 
                   2 days after we got home mother had her stent surgery in AA, it was suppose to be outpatient but, when they took the breathing tube out she couldn't breathe so was admitted for 4 days.  Sallie and I drove back and forth each day thinking that she would be coming home the next day.  We were exhausted.
                   At the end of  the month mother felt well enough to go to Munishing in the UP for our family reunion.  We had a great time seeing everybody and revisiting old haunts.
Mother and Sallie (older sister) in front of Totem Village in St. Ignace, MI.

SEPTEMBER-  Mammogram was clear, I am still cancer & lump free.  YEEHAAAA!  Dr decided infusions would be better for ostopenia than pills.  6 years of cancer drugs weakened my bones.
                          Mother had the rest of her thyroid removed and pathology reported it was non cancerous.  great news and a big relief.
 Mom's neck after thyroid removal.
                           We start a weekend project of replacing the shower in our bathroom.  It turns out to be the bathroom from hell

OCTOBER-  I started having high sugar symptoms but my sugar would only be at 100.  Started reducing the insulin.  A1c was at 5.4, an all time low for me after many years.
                     Gary turned 60 but couldn't plan a party,  I was hospitalized with chest pains.  Found out later they were esophageal spasms, I now carry nitro with me.

NOVEMBER-  Taken off insulin and put on metformin the day before we leave for Oklahoma.  Diabetic episodes were happening more often.
                           Go to Oklahoma so father and son could go hunting.  They get their deer the first day they go out but, as Philip describes it, His father's deer had a diaper and a pacifier!  I have 3 more 'episodes' that seem to be worse.

DECEMBER- My yearly check up with the surgeon, I have an episode while there and they wheel me to Er.  The episodes turned out to be TIA' strokes.  MRI or MRA show I have an aneurism.  CT angiogram showed I didn't but, as soon as the test is over I have a seizure.  EEG is abnormal, you think?

                       Work starts on the back room, we hire someone to finish the bathroom from hell, DIL takes me out to do Christmas shopping.  The house is in chaos.  Everything from the bathroom is in our bedroom and hall.  Everything that was on the hall wall is now on the dining room table.  Everything from the back bedroom is in the kitchen, garage and wherever there was a space.   Back room is done, bathroom is done, floor replacement starts in the kitchen and hall which mean everything from the kitchen and hall is put anywhere we can find room.  It doesn't get done before Christmas but, we just work around it. 

Decided not to wish for a healthier new year as that is what I wished at this time last year.  I do wish that everyone HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Going back....

In August after the reunion we stayed in St. Ignace and reacquainted ourselves with some souvenir shops we had been going to for over 50 years.

The Curio Fair is on US 2 in sight of the Mac Bridge.  They are not lying when they say there is something for everyone.  Most of the shops there are now offering antique and vintage items for sale to help with the slow economy.

When I first started coming here in the 50's it was less then a dime to climb the lighthouse and see the view of the Mackinaw Bridge.  Like everything else that has gone up in price which no one minds paying, it's an awesome view.  With my knees the way they are I no longer climb the many stairs in the 8 story tower.

Part of the outside walls of the Curio Fair have shells cemented in which makes an awesome look.  Wouldn't mind doing that to a wall in my house except I'd have to be constantly dusting & cleaning the I won't.

Down the road is Totem Village, another favorite stop.
My mother and sister in a Kodak moment.
 Yooper weather is taking it's toll on the wood.
My mother and I...
Mother and sister talking with our relatives outside Totem Village.  There is a museum out back but, have stopped paying to go through it now.  Found a cool CD here about Michigan and when I figure out how to upload it someday you will hear it.   The Mystery Spot is down the road on US 2 and, haven't been there in years but, is a very interesting place.  Along US2 from St. Ignace to Naubinway there are excellent sandy beaches...stop in some time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Life has taken over....

Haven't been here in awhile, been a busy summer.  Have one more dr's appt and then I think I'm done for the year.  I think....can't remember.  Haven't worked in my art room all summer, needs to be cleaned again.  Too tired.  Bought a book to alter to start a new art journal, ripped and taped pages but that is as far as I got.  Painted the living room last week and still trying to get the living room back together.  Went to Art Prize yesterday and saw as much as possible until my feet were screaming in protest.  Would like to sleep a week but there is too much to do.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On the shores of Gitchigami....

I still get goosebumps when I see the Mac rising above the trees as you get closer to Mackinaw City but, it's the towns that mean more to me after you cross the bridge.  Epoufette, Rexton, Garnet, Naubinway, Trout Lake, Brevort, Hulbert, Engadine, of my ancestors.  Family......Home.  

Lake Superior.....Gitchigami as the Ojibwe Tribe named it.  Never warm, always cold no matter what time of year.

but, beautiful.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Dilemma of Uncle Chuck

While I was giving Uncle Chuck a bath this morning my brain told my heart it was time to let Chuck go but, my heart is stubborn and argued with my brain.  Charlie has no balance.  No one knows what's wrong or what caused it and it's been 2 months and he isn't better.  He staggers, falls, gets up, staggers, falls, etc.  He can't make it to the litter box so we're constantly cleaning up messes but, because he has no balance it means if he pees he falls in it.  If he poops, he falls in it.  He falls into his watered down canned food, you get the picture?  He's alert, he knows us, it might take him a while for his bobbing head to focus on us when we talk to him but he does it.  And that is why my heart is stubborn but, is this a good life for him?  Is he happy?  I noticed before his trip he wasn't eating as much and now he's throwing up what he ate and that's when my brain said it was time but, my heart hasn't totally agreed yet.  Uncle Chuck is 14 years old, he's led a good pampered it time?

Spent last week at the Grand Lake O' the Cherokees melting in 100+ weather.  Too hot to go out on the boat, too hot to sit on the deck and enjoy the lake but had a nice visit with Leah, Phil, Brandy, Ginger and Rupert.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My gentle giant

Louie, my gentle giant is dying.  He was as big as our dog, weighed 20 lbs or more but was the most gentlest of creatures.  I fostered his mother and 5 brothers for the humane society 11 years ago.  I knew he was going to be big by the size of his front paws so we adopted him.  His paw filled the palm of my hand but he never intimidated the other animals.  He accepted all of them, never hissing, growling, etc to any of the other rescues.   Now my gentle giant is leaving me and it breaks my heart.  His left lung stopped working, the right lung can't keep up and his heart is giving out and no one knows why.  Waiting for the vet to open so we can make the appointment to end his suffering.  May he go as gentle as he has lived his life.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Following In The Sun online art journal class

I have been following In The Sun's daily prompts.  Sometimes the finished page doesn't look what I had envisioned in my head when I started.  Then I usually argue with myself on whether I should just leave it alone or try 'fixing''s still under debate.

We were to create a beach playlist, songs we'd play at the beach.  My choices were.... Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride (from Lilo & Stitch), Soak Up the Sun (Sheryl Crow), Pearly Shells (Don Ho), Kokomo (Beach Boys).  I forgot to write down Waimanalo Blues by Country Comfort.  The background is pink and yellow acrylic with black marker dots, photo of the beach at Whitefish Point, Martha Stewart tapes and graph paper.

Favorite Summer Memories--Before the Mighty Mac was built you rode a car ferry to reach the Upper Peninsula.  My parents would never let us get out of the car and walk on deck.  The Mackinac Bridge is an impressive sight and still get goosebumps when I first catch sight of it's peaks on the horizon.

Summer Takes Flight-- I didn't want to do a page on mosquitos so did one on lightning bugs.  This was one of those moments when the final page was not what I had envisioned.  I had to leave it.

I love hibiscus flowers and one of the few flowers that I haven't killed......
 The prompt was what chore we would like to give up for the summer.  Since I can't do very much I went with having a doctor free oncologist, allergist, surgeon, bariatric surgeon, pulmonologist, family dr, dentist, oral surgeon.  Of course that isn't going to happen.

I like how this turned out....don't remember what the prompt was.

Using some of the scrapbooking supplies Phil and Leah sent for my birthday I created this page.  Even used the wrapping paper.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In the Sun Art Journal

I joined In The Sun online art journl prompts and have been managing to keep up so far.  Yay for me!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CAUTION: Wear gloves.....

 Went out to take a picture of my peonies and found a surprise in the tiger lilies.....

a litter of feral kittens that had wandered out from under the back deck.  We caught 3 of them (wearing gloves) but, the others ran back under.  I worried about them all day in the heat with no water but couldn't get them to come out.  Not sure what we are going to do, too much stress with Gary's accident now.

Did remember to get a pic of the peony....


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

While leafing through one of my mags I came across an ad for Manolo Blahnik shoes and several ads of models wearing designer clothes when an idea for a collage formed,,grew and wouldn't let go until I finished.  Years ago a movie was made starring 2 very young ladies, Helen Hunt and Sarah Jessica Parker called Girls Just Want To Have Fun.  Loved the movie and loved the song.  I started clipping ideas and putting them in my collage pile.   This was my first collage so I wasn't sure what I was doing but arranged, rearranged, painted, used oil pastels, etc until I was happy with the end results.  I was fortunate to find a pic of SJP but ended covering it up but, I know it's there.  Let me know what you think.

Signed up for the art journal e-class In the Sun....Looking forward to it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saying goodbye to an old friend.....

A week ago today, on Friday the 13th, my husband was rear-ended on his motorcycle at a stop light.  He saw it coming and hung on not letting go until after he hit the car in front of him and slid under it.  We ride a 95 Honda Goldwing 20th Anniversary edition.  It's a big bike and I think because of it's size it saved him from more serious injuries and possibly death.  He broke 2 ribs, fractured 2 lower vertebrae, sprained his neck, contusion and road rash on his right elbow and contusions on his back.  He was lucky and he realizes this.  The bike was totalled, a price it paid for saving him.  The selvage yard hauled it away yesterday.  With great sadness we watched as the driver tried to move it.  The crash had forced the trailer hitch up under the fender and jammed it into the tire.  The gears groaned as he wrestled it down the driveway to the truck.....

We rode that bike throughout lower Michigan and all the way up to Copper Harbor.  We took it to Frazeysburg, Ohio and brought it back packed full with Longaberger pottery & baskets.  Two years ago we rode it to Dallas, Tx and then up to Tulsa, Ok in 100 degree heat.  It's been our companion, our friend.  To see it in it's damaged condition was hard but, my husband is sore but alive.  Tomorrow, May 21st is our 40th wedding anniversary.  An anniversary that almost wasn't.  Thank you my friend for taking the brunt of the crash and allowing my husband to stay with me.  Thank you Jesus.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I feel bad....I broke a promise....

Dear Dr Parks,

Remember that promise I made you several years ago?  You know, when you wanted me to get rid of all 9 of my cats because of my allergy to cats?  And I said definitely not but, I would promise not to get any more.  Well,  after the deaths of Charity,Marshmallow, Ann Marae last year and Candy 2 months ago I didn't think you would mind if I broke that promise.  She is such a sweetie and she called out my name.

Dr   Molly.  How can you not love that face?

The flowering trees and bushes are in bloom in the back's pretty and smells heavenly, for about 5 minutes then I have to come in and squirt meds up my nose so I can breathe again.

Lilacs..LOVE them but, I keep forgetting to cut them back in the fall.

One of the crab apple (I think) trees in the back.

A treasure from some U.P. stealth gardening several years ago, Jack in the Pulpit.  Need to get some trilliums next...

Been trying to organize my art room.  I think I've decided it's a lost cause.

just janie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The things you can send in the mail....

Received this bottle in the mail, it was an invitation to my nephews bridal luau shower.  Inside was a drink umbrella, the invitation, directions to the place, champagne glass and a small bag of sand.  Your first thought on how to open it is to remove the cork but it's obvious nothing is going to fit through the small hole.  The bottom is taped on making it easy to open.  I don't know who thought it up but it's a neat idea.  For my niece's baby shower my sister mailed baby bottles with the invitations in them, cool idea.

I've mailed painted coconuts, wooden postcards and odd shaped things over the years and they got to where they were going with no problems.  I mailed a Valentine's card to the couple across the street......they got it 4 months later.

just janie

Friday, May 6, 2011

Beginning ideas for a 4 yr old learning to art journal for the first time...

Some time ago I took pics of basic steps of art journaling to give to a 4 yr who has never seen or experience the joys of art journaling.  I used items that I thought a 4 yr old would have access to, watercolor paint box, white glue or mod podge, crayons, markers,  masking tape, ribbon and stickers.  I also had to word the instructions so that they would understand.  It was harder than I thought it would be.  Does a 4 yr old know what vertical and horizontal are?  A 4 yr old can't read which meant the mother/grandmother, etc, who does not know what art journaling is either had to read and explain all this to the child.   I'd like to know what your thoughts are and try it yourself.

Tear off  8 strips of masking tape and  place  them up and down and then across on the page.  Using your paint box color each square.  Let dry then peel off the tape off carefully because you're going to reuse it.

Reusing the same strips, if they're still in good condition, put the pieces of tape on each side of the white strips left by the previous tape, taping up and down first.  Paint the white strips black.  Just the white strips not the color squares.  Let dry.

 Peel the tape and put them across on each side of the white strips, paint black.  Let dry, take the tape off and throw it away.

It should look like this.  I'ts ok if the paint leaked under the will make the page look better.

Take a red crayon and draw lines next to the black strips inside the color squares.  It should look like this.

Cut out pictures in magazines of one of your favorite things you could be of a toy or an animal.  I like cats so that is what I cut out.  I tore the access paper away but you can cut it away if you want to.  Choose your favorite stickers, I like Winnie the Pooh so those are the stickers I used.

 On one side of the page I put my pictures of kittens and on the other side I put Winnie the Pooh stickers and moved them around until I liked where they were, then glued them down with Mod Podge or glue.  I wrote I LIKE KITTIES by the kitty pics and I LIKE WINNIE THE POOH by the stickers.  Mom can help you write this if you need her to.

I glued down ribbon where I thought it would look good and added sticker hearts.  You dont have to do this if you don't want to.  It's just to give you ideas.

This is what my page looked like when I was done.   Have fun!

just janie